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Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Fruits of Lammas

In the Southern Hemisphere we are celebrating the first harvest festival of Lammas or Lughnassad after reaching the height of the summer season with Midsummer in December.

Lammas is the festival of first fruits, a time to regard what you’ve sown and do a little weeding if necessary. All thoughts, actions and intentions lead to fruit, and all creation is done in the name of the Goddess. This is the time for our first fruits as well, and a time to test the hardiness of that which you have borne. Is there longstanding acuity to your visions? Do you need to protect and nourish your fruit a little longer before revealing it to the world? In its newness, is it growing eloquently or stunted in some manner? These are the things to look for, to gaze upon, without judgement, and to celebrate with much joy. All is revealed and nourished.

As much as we enjoy seeing the evidence of abundance around us, we also know instinctively that we have to prepare for the death and darkness of the winter months that will be returning all too soon. We must harvest our fruits, or lessons, and store them for the contemplation that comes with the dark winter months.

Goddess becomes the Mother of the Harvest. She is strong, her face dark from the sun and wind. She carries a scythe and a basket of fruits, vegetables and ears of corn. She knows that in order to eat bread we must cut the grain. In fact, if we didn't cut it, it would die anyway, for that is the only way next year's grain can grow.

We can call on the Harvest Mother when we have difficult decisions to make or hard tasks to perform. We must face our fears of failing, of losing the harvest, or making mistakes. She gives us the strength to do what must be done, to tell the truth, even when it hurts, and to say no to things that are not right.

She loves us, her children, and her gifts are food, abundance, and plenty. Everything we need to live and grow. She is hope as well as fear. When there is something special we hope for, we can ask her help. But remember, she expects us to work for what we want! We honor the Harvest Mother whenever we don't take the easy way out, when we do what is right, when we face fear and continue on ahead, when we work hard and wait patiently for rewards.

In essence, the lessons we take from this harvest, the lessons we have strived to learn and the soul journey we have nurtured so tenderly, need to be cultivated for the coming darkness, even if it is just for your fruits to be nurtured through a harsh winter.

Lammas is all about harvest and abundance; we have everything we need all around us. A wise woman once told me “You are in the right place at the right time for you right now” and Lammas is a time to realise this. You have cultivated lessons, created in the name of your soul journey and the Goddess, and now is the time reap the rewards or, if you aren't quite ready to take your creation out to the world, reap these rewards privately and nuture your still young creation.

There are some wonderful tarot energies at work at this time of year that I am so happy to share with you. The Empress with all of her fertility and abundance from Spring is still present and is joined by the Wheel of Fortune, who serves to remind us of the cycles of life. The suit of Pentacles also serves as a reminder of abundance in our life and our duty with it; in particular, I will explore the Queen, 9 and 10 of Pentacles, all beautiful energies that speak of abundance, wisdom and prosperity.

There is also a wonderful spread designed especially for Lammas.

Wheel of Fortune ~ Rider-Waite/Smith
 The Wheel of Fortune

So often this card is associated with cycles of prosperity, favorable turns of the Wheel of Life and a general upturn in your good luck and fortune. While the Wheel is all of these things, because it is a major arcana card we must look deeper.

At this point in the journey of life, the Wheel reminds you that you have learned your lessons. You are wiser now, and ready to move forward and take chances with fate and free will. One of the tarot's great gifts to us is the recognition that we set our own path in life but are subject to the larger cycles that include us. We have all experienced events that appear to be accidents or serendipity, but always remember, they are a part of a plan.

I mentioned earlier that there may be some of you who feel the need to protect your creations and harvest a little longer from the world, who may not quite be ready to reveal anything or who may be struggling with their lessons. The Wheel serves to remind you that the struggle will end with a vision or a realization that hits you with great force (the weight of the force of course, is dependent on whether the Divine has been trying to send you this message before now and if you have been listening) You will find your answer if you stand back and view everything from a broader perspective.

An understanding of the cycles of life is at the heart of the Wheel. As the Wheel turns, we reap the rewards of our past thoughts and actions, and these rewards often appear in the form of good luck or fortune or unusual synchronicity.

Lammas is the time to reap what we have sown. By following and celebrating the cycles of the seasons we become attuned to the rhythm of life and Mother Earth, and in doing this we flow with the forces of life rather then against them and are more likely to experience life as the magickal journey it is rather then an ordeal.

Trust in the process of life ~ cycles are playing an important part in our lives right now at this time of harvest. Relax and let go of some of the control you exert in different areas of your life ~ this is part of trusting in the cycles of life. So much of our lives can be spent trying to exert control over our destiny and the circumstances around us, and while this is necessary at times, in the deepest sense we are in the hands of the Goddess so sometimes we can let go and open ourselves to Her generosity.

Our lives run through cycles, through times we experience plenty and times that we don't ~ always remember that love is at the heart of creation and our responsibility on this Earth is to respect the Goddess, respect life and sow seeds of goodness in everything we touch.

Wisdom comes when we no longer behave reactively but are aware of the themes and cycles that are woven into our lives. The message the Wheel gives to you is “You can see the patterns in your life and the wider pattern in the cycles of Birth, Life, Death and Rebirth. Harvesting the seeds of destiny, you continue to sow the seeds of love” ~ From The Druidcraft Tarot

Digital Artwork from "Divine Feminine" Tarot series
 The Queen of Pentacles

I adore the Queen of Pentacles ~ what a luscious woman of the Earth! Natural opulence and beauty surrounds her and she seems to grow right out of the landscape. This woman is productive and clearly prospers in her harvest. The Queen is creative, intelligent, responsible and works hard because she understands that without hard work her garden will be bare. She is the picture of fertility and abundance and because she is a Queen, she has a mastery and inward focus that combined with the positive Earth energy of the Pentacles suit ensures that she is aware of her responsibility to herself and her family and that for her garden to truly prosper, she must tend to it carefully, and that means she has to cut some plants in orders for others to grow.

10 of Pentacles

10 of Pentacles ~ World Spirit Tarot
 The 10 of Pentacles serves to remind us of the abundance in our lives that we create for ourselves. Because this is a 10 and the suit of pentacles, all of the abundance we can see in this card is brought about through nothing but hard work and dedication. Not only does this hard work bring it's own rewards, but it leaves a legacy and gives blessings ~ what is the legacy of your actions and hard work? What are the blessings in your life right now? It could be something you have written, a piece of art you have labored over, a recipe that becomes family legend (we all have a “Mum's Potato Bake” or some such recipe hidden in our kitchen!) a beautiful garden or the values you instill in your family that are passed on through generations. Traditionally in a reading this card can indicate the purchase of something large and material, but for our purposes, to me, this card represents the learning of incredibly important lessons that only serve to enrichen your life and soul journey. The 10 of Pentacles serves to remind us that we don't need to struggle, we can lead full abundant lives and be of value to the world by learning how to give blessings by sending out charges of positive energy and those around us while drawing nourishment from our spiritual source.

9 of Pentacles

9 of Pentacles ~ Radiant Rider-Waite/Smith
 I absolutely adore this card and always see it as something marvelous when I see it come up for a woman in a reading. To me, this woman is the epitome of the independent complete woman, the Goddess in virgin form if you will. This lady is calm, peaceful, content, secure and independent, a picture of self mastery. The garden she ~ and you ~ have created is bursting with the bounty of achievement. Look at how this woman handles herself ~ she stands strong, completely at ease with herself and her falcon, which represents all that is dark and unruly in human nature. She has mastered her baser instincts to serve her higher good, and this is something we all must do in order to live our lives to the fullest. You are developing an awareness of what truly matters in life and are keen to achieve material and spiritual success. We are all in search of the same thing ~ a satisfying and fulfilled life, which can be affirmed in the beauty around you and the way you live your life. This lady is who we all are, beautiful daughters of Goddess, aspiring to be ~ a woman who is sure of herself and her place in the universe, who lives a materially and spiritually satisfying life while remaining true to her gifts and her essence, and most importantly ~ a woman who takes joy in the journey of life and the rewards it gives.

Harvest Home Spread


                                        7                                 4


                            6                                  5


Card 1: Grounding

What you need to do to keep both feet on the ground. The practicalities of your day to day life. How do you function in the mundane world? This card may show you where you need to concentrate your efforts to better function in the “real” world.

Card 2: Career, Attitudes about work

Are you following your heart's desire or just surviving? This card could give you an idea of your true calling

Card 3: Finances, attitudes about money

Money is energy ~ is your energy blocked or does it flow freely? Attitudes about money and abundance that may be helping you or holding you back. Note whether card 2 is in conflict with this one.

Card 4: Connections and sharing

Describes your feelings of connectedness to others ~ feel free to add an extra 2 cards should you require further clarity.

Card 5: Health and healing

How you take care of your body and nurture yourself.

Card 6: First harvest

You have planned and planted the seeds of your life ~ what are you reaping for yourself based on your attitudes and behaviors? What are you harvesting?

Card 7: Fruition

Achievements, maturation, fulfillment, satisfaction, success. Things that are right with your world. What are you thankful for? A challenging card reveals an opportunity for growth.

Harvest well and delight in your abundance and lessons my dear friends. Have a beautiful Lammas and may the blessings of the God and Goddess reach you all.

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